I like to raise awareness about the importance of connecting children to nature. As a parent of two who regularly spends a lot of time outside, I see the value in stepping out of the house and exploring in nature with my kids. I talk about children and nature to people I meet, share about it on this blog and my social media pages, and write articles for a local parenting magazine.
Another way I’m going to spread awareness and start conversations is by producing and selling street signs that get that message across. You may have seen my idea for signs that read “SLOW: Children at Nature Play,” with a silhouette of a child with a salamander in his hand (it could be a lizard, too!).
Playing off of the standard SLOW: Children at Play signs often seen in neighborhoods or near parks, which request of their viewers to slow down their approaching vehicle, the SLOW in my sign seeks to urge its viewers to SLOW down their minds and busy schedules, and take notice of the joy and wonder that children exhibit when playing in nature. “Nature Play” is a common phrase in the children and nature movement, and represents a growing trend toward unstructured, natural play for children.
I plan to sell the sign for use in neighborhoods, at trailheads, nature parks and centers, zoos, gardens, aquariums, schools, etc., essentially any place that children explore, play, and learn about nature (or any place where you think that should happen). Here’s my son, a little younger than he is now, showing how the sign would look along a trail (see other photos here):
To help raise funds to order an initial batch of 50 signs, I am currently offering the sign design on t-shirts through the fundraising website Teespring.com. You could order a t-shirt or hoodie, spread the message, and help me toward my goal. My plan is to have signs ready to sell by late spring/early summer.
Most important, since Teespring’s platform only works if I sell a certain number of t-shirts by January 25, I need you to share the t-shirt campaign with friends and colleagues. Post about it on your blog, share on your Facebook, tweet about it, or email to people you think would love a t-shirt and later a sign. Either link to this blog post, or use the direct link for the t-shirt campaign. I appreciate any help you can provide!
Interested in donating toward the project without purchasing a t-shirt? Click here. Thank you!